A will or a whim?

We are all able to learn what we want to learn and we will stay at it as long as it takes until we’ve developed our skills, or amassed as much knowledge as we want to. Regardless of lessons, if we want to learn, we will. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. We’ll manage to find…

Accountability: the teacher and the learner

On my last post, I suggested that the best way to focus on students’ learning is by focusing on teaching. The rationale behind this is that we can’t control someone else’s actions or thoughts, but we can control our own. This means that if we pay attention to what we can actually do in order…

How do you focus on your students’ learning?

Lately, it’s become mainstream to state that we should focus on students’ learning. By saying that, we account for the obvious expected outcome of a teaching & learning environment – students’ learning. Currently, with all the debate on the impact of technology in the lives of children everywhere, it’s pretty obvious that we’re more likely…

Do conversation-driven lessons make any sense? (Part 2)

Language is quite a complex system – one which we try to organise according rules and norms. One of the common ways for us to think about such organisation is prescriptively, the way many of us were taught a second or a foreign language. If we look at what David Crystal says about prescriptivism, we…

Do conversation-driven lessons make any sense?

The short answer to this question is a resounding ‘yes’, and I could base my answer on experience – mine and also the one’s from lots of colleagues. However, we should all be wary of such things as “it’s worked with all my groups,” or the converse “it didn’t work with any of my groups.”…

Translating machines and (Language) Teaching

On January 5, 2013, the magazine The Economist published an article on simultaneous translation by computers and one of the first questions it asks readers is How long, then, before automatic simultaneous translation becomes the norm, and all those tedious language lessons at school are declared redundant? The very first thing that sprung to mind…

Where’s the change?

We’ve moved yet one more year into the 21st century. Yet one more year towards the future. ‘Tis not a future with flying cars or the Jetson’s robot maid Rose cleaning your house; no, we haven’t gone that far. However, there’s seems to be no denial we’re in the middle of a very important revolution….

Consumers, reproducers and producers

If there’s one thing that has changed in education with the advent of new technologies and, chiefly, the web 2.0, this has got to be how easy it is now for us to shift from consumers of information to producers of data. There’s absolutely nothing new in this statement, and any report or information sheet…

Recycling and autonomy

Autonomy has become a trending topic in the world of education. To be honest, the way I hear some people talking about it makes me wonder whether this hasn’t always been the case, really. “Oh, I know it! How about trying to make ourselves, teachers, less needed as students progress in their education?” I mean,…

Quick reminder about teaching

Are you sure you’re focusing on what really matters most, or are you going to focus on the smallest part and assume that’s enough? If you think that: TESTING = TEACHING Then you also think: INFORMATION = KNOWLEDGE Which means: TEACHER = INFORMATION SUPPLIER = ENCYCLOPEDIAS & INTERNET SOURCES Which will soon lead to: COMPUTERS…

Dear teacher

” Dear teacher, You once meant the world to me. Among all the people who were there to teach me something, I believe you were the one who had it all figured out. You enticed me with your love for the new, you lured me into a world of learning, but yet, I now feel…